We know that our kids can eat. Man, can they eat some days! But sometimes, it is hard to get them to eat when they are at school. Maybe they get distracted with play, maybe they are too busy to stop and eat. Whatever the reason, it’s worrying to think of them coming home with full lunchboxes and empty tummies.
Then there is the flow on effect. They will eat everything in sight after school because they are ravenous. Then, they won’t be hungry for dinner. It’s best to get them eating right at school so they get the fuel their bodies need, at the right time of day. Here are our suggestions:
Don’t put the same thing in their lunchbox every day. Rotate the foods around so that they don’t get bored. If your kids know that there is a peanut butter sandwich and an apple in their lunchbox, chances are they may not open it. Pack a variety of fruits and vegetables. Try things like wraps, pitas, bread rolls or even dumplings as an alternative to the humble sandwich.
We eat with our eyes first. If it looks good, then we are going to eat it. Make the food in their lunchboxes look delicious. Fill it with lots of colours. You maybe even choose to cut things into fun shapes with these shape cutters . Or use cute food picks to make them want to pick their food up.
Normally, the things that kids love the most aren’t the healthiest options. Try not to put too many treats in their lunchboxes. If they can get a quick refuel from cookies or cake, then chances are they will leave the sandwiches, fruit and veg. Make it easy for them to make the right food decision at lunchtime.
Don’t make it too hard for them to eat it. If there are too many things to unwrap, or difficult things to peel then they might not do it. Cut and core their apple with this handy tool or include easy eat items. You maybe even want to pack their lunch in a Bento Box so that everything is right in front of them when they open it. No need for opening any small containers.
Sit down on the weekend and make a plan for what they would like in their lunch the following week. Take them shopping to buy delicious and healthy items. If you have a farmers market nearby, then this can be a fun morning out. Bake snacks together and even get them to help pack some of their lunchbox the night before.
Pop all the ingredients to create a delicious lunch into their lunchbox and let the kids make lunch themselves. Include a wrap, pita, or something similar, as well as all the fillings and let your kids get creative putting it all together at school. It allows them independence and they are always going to eat something they have made themselves.
Top Tip: Bento Boxes work really well for DIY lunches as they keep the ingredients separate until it is time to assemble the lunch.
We need to make sure that our kids are eating well even when we aren’t there to see it. These tips for getting kids to eat their lunches at school will help your child be happy, healthy and well fed so that the snack cupboard doesn’t take too much of a hammering after school.